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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky
Pub. Date: May 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Hardcover , 320pp
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Publisher (ARC) 
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

In an age where technology rules everyday life, this mesmerizing utopia makes for an unforgettable read. I've read quite a few dystopian books and AWAKEN is probably one of the most believable to me. In a society where everyone is plugged in, the most basic things that make us human are pretty much nonexistent. Schools have gone digital and nature itself is synthetic at best. I'll be the first to admit that I can't go anywhere without my toys and after reading this book; I believe Kacvinsky is on to something.

One of the best ways to describe this book is how the main protagonist, Maddie put it - it's like having an addiction. Once you're unplugged, it's like having to start all over again with the basics. And that's extreme in Maddie's case. This life is how she's always operated, but with the help of the rebellious Justin, she's starting to finally wake up to a whole new living experience. I adored these characters and the risks that they took for what they believed in. Kacvinsky's writing pulled me effortlessly into her world.

After the book ended, I wanted more. I just hope that Kacvinsky will be able to give her readers a follow-up. I want to know what direction the characters are going to move into and how their decisions and choices will ultimately affect the digital world. Another great debut!

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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  1. This does sound interesting. I think you're right that this is one we can really relate to being so plugged into our computers. I can so relate to it being an addiction. Great review.

  2. Great review! This one sounds really interesting. I'll have to get it soon :)

  3. Your review is making me want to read this even more. I've been eyeing this a lot lately so I can't wait.


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